Are people basically good? In my most recent novel, Live Free or Die, a major character, Henry Bouchard, raises the possibility that this question really doesn’t matter. Evil versus good makes for a wonderful philosophical argument, but, Bouchard theorizes, it is really a non-argument. “It doesn’t matter that most people are basically good.”
His rationale is difficult to dispute. “Suppose that one-tenth of one percent of the population is truly evil. Actually, let’s make that one one-hundredth of one percent.” At that rate, we would have over thirty thousand evil people in the United States. Bouchard points out that it is “conservative estimate” but it doesn’t matter that most people are basically good. What matters is that we have more than enough bad folks to wreak havoc with all their good intentions.”
Live Free or Die is fiction, as is the character of Henry Bouchard, but his conclusion is rather unsettling.
This post is a follow-up to my previous “Evil or Mentally Ill” post, which, I will admit, did oversimplify the reasons for someone taking the life of another human being.
What do you think?
People are all born good. Something happens along the way that allows evil to take over. Both Ed and Stacey were abused as children. Ed by a drunken father and Stacey by a devient cousin. Ed became evil while Stacey became weakened and scared. Evil feeds on the weak and in this case evil won. My question is what happened to Jeff Strelzin?
In Michael Keene’s mothersday rant on the memorial web site 6 years after his sisters murder he mentions 3 words, depraved, loathsome and hideous. Depraved is defined as morally courupt, loathsome is described as causing hatred or disgust; repulsive. And hideous is ugly or discusting to look at; morally offensive. I have heard a couple of explainations for what he’s talking about. He’s talking about his dying mother taking on evil and winning. She did ALL she could and with big bro. talking tough, who knows where this is going. Don’t worry Mike, wife beaters and child abusers are cowards, he’s all yours.